Turning Tides

red tree

“At a Death Cafe people, often strangers, gather to eat cake, drink tea and discuss death.” The mission of Death Cafe is “to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives.”

On the Death Midwife website, I found that their mission is “to provide holistic, non-medical, emotional, spiritual, and practical support for the dying and their families.”

The reply I received from INELDA said that many death doulas will stay and help the grieving, but that others would refer clients to a grief specialist.

When I Googled “grief specialist” I got over six million eight hundred hits. When I narrowed it down to “certified grief specialist” I got over seven thousand two hundred.

I am not a specialist in any grief but my own, but this upcoming field of death services is interesting.

Perhaps the tide is turning, and we can start looking at death as an inevitable celebratory event, like birth.


I realize that is too much to ask of us mere mortals. I know I was not celebrating when Kent died. I don’t celebrate on our wedding anniversary (his birthday), or the anniversary of his death. I hurt too much. I usually go away and cry by myself somewhere on these days.

There is beauty in my short time with him, though. I can smile at those memories (most of the time).

There is joy in the here and now.

I have come to realize that happy tears are fat and luscious. Grief tears are skinny and salty.

I want to think about these lyrics from The Flaming Lips’ song, “Do You Realize?”

Do you realize that everyone you know someday will die
And instead of saying all of your goodbyes, let them know
You realize that life goes fast
It’s hard to make the good things last
You realize the sun doesn’t go down
It’s just an illusion caused by the world spinning round

I cannot pretend to understand the video, but the music and poetry are lovely.

Tell me what YOU think, please.

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